Tuesday, November 07, 2006

How Telemarketing Dirty Tricks work (not science)

I've been meaning to post about winds from galaxies, specifically the standard idea of winds being most likely to escape from dwarf galaxies. But... its election day and I have a lot of other work to do so I'll just post something else very quickly and get back to real work.

Those of you with your ears to the ground will already know about the news (from the internet, the so-called media isn't mentioning it much. I wonder why? ;> See here for info and links to more about misleading robocalls) that the RNCC has been repeatedly ringing people up pretending to be democrats by messing with the Caller ID, so as to generate anger against the democrats. Quite apart from the politics (I wont rant about how this is so typical of the modern Republican criminal mentality) I was interested in the more technical sense about how this Caller ID faking is done and why it doesn't seem to be illegal.

Since the national No-Call-List was put into place and we signed up for it, we now often receive telemarketing calls with confusing, misleading or even absent Caller IDs. Its illegal for telemarketers (*) to call you if you are on the NCL. But filing a complaint is not exactly a piece of cake, as when you fill the in the complaint form on the web you need to give the offending telemarketers number and ID... and if they're sending out fake ones you have little hope of having the true offenders punished for selfish, inconsiderate and parasitic ways.

So how is it done? Well, G2geek (a telecommunications engineer) over at Daily Kos has a informative post all about how companies manipulate their Caller ID entries. So GO READ IT.

(*) Illegal except for politicians and businesses you are already a customer of.

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